More on the Dickson Street Music Festival

February 22nd, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Within the necessary — and deserved — excitement about what and who will be at the newly announced Dickson Street Music Festival, we’ve already heard some excitement about the upcoming show, and the bands.

The festival’s creation was discussed earlier on the blog and in more depth in a Northwest Arkansas Times article.

But just looking ahead would ignore a lot of effort that went into putting the show together.

The blog was first told about the possibility of a music festival in late August, while George’s Majestic Lounge owner and Majestic Concerts partner Brian Crowne was still preparing for his venue’s 80th birthday bash.

It was at that time that he announced the creation of Majestic Concerts, telling the Times that in addition to bringing in talent to the area (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones came in September), one of the main goals of the new organization would be to create a festival.

A springtime date was set, partially because it could coincide with Springfest and also because festival organizers hoped they could draw talent already crisscrossing the south between major opportunities at South By Southwest and Memphis in May.

Much effort was put into booking, which has been in progress for several months.

As for Friday night, the Charlie Daniels Band and the associated acts of the volunteer jam were a good fit, the organizers said.

As for the Saturday night show, the idea was always to have a diverse, critically acclaimed lineup. But Sonic Youth was not the first choice, we were told. Other performers, including The Black Crowes, the Kings of Leon and Alison Krauss & Robert Plant were seriously considered, but issues such as pending European tours or financial demands prevented those bands from being booked.

Sponsors were a booking concern, too, as officials needed them to keep tickets prices down. Unfortunately, in the sponsor-seeking process, it meant the organizers had to seek bands earlier, some who might not have planned a spring tour yet, because band names were needed before sponsors would agree.

While it might be convenient to lament that our favorite band didn’t get selected, speaking personally here, I’m glad there is such a festival, one providing major-level talent that was otherwise unlikely to visit Fayetteville. Sonic Youth might not have been my first choice either. But you can bet I’ll be there, screaming, singing … and rooting for the concert festival itself, hoping the festival will grow stronger in 2009.